As usual, the island has celebrated the season with all kinds of events, including holiday open houses for all of the businesses in both Holmes Beach and Anna Maria (on two separate Friday evenings), and a tree lighting ceremony on Bridge Street last Saturday, followed by a lighted boat parade. For those of you who wonder what Christmas would be like on the island . . . the word is FUN, FESTIVE, and BEAUTIFUL! You can easily get used to seeing bright Christmas lights on swaying palm trees!
The year in real estate has been a remarkable one on the island. An Island Place Realty has had its best year ever, with a total of over $10 million in sales. Island-wide sales have been significantly up, with current inventory at only 231 active listings and 22 lots, down from a height of nearly 1000 total in 2006. Currently there are 43 properties and seven lots under contract headed to closing.
I still have frequent requests from buyers for distressed properties, but, not surprisingly, the minute something is listed, it is snatched up immediately. Currently there are only two active short sale/REO properties on our Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Also, surprisingly, not all of our office sales have been for buyers looking for rental income. Nine of my sales transactions this past year have been for buyers who are solely using their second homes for themselves, or else are moving here full-time. Baby boomers are definitely on the move, with the projection of 10,000 boomers reaching age 65 each day for the next 20 years.
In other news, everyone is anxiously awaiting the reopening of the Rod and Reel Pier, after the September 30 fire that put it out of commission. The projected date of opening is sometime after the first of the year now. Stay tuned!